Historical observation on commotio cordis

Barry J. Maron, Joseph J. Doerer, Tammy S. Haas, N. A.Mark Estes, Mark S. Link

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Commotio cordis (Latin for "disturbance of the heart") is a circumstance in which blunt, nonpenetrating, and often innocent-appearing blows to the chest produce ventricular fibrillation and sudden death, in the absence of structural damage to the heart, ribs, or sternum. 1-4 Not entirely a new phenomenon, commotio cordis is traceable back for well over 100 years. 5,6 Possibly first described in 1763 and again in the 1870s, this phenomenon was subjected to extensive experimental investigation in the early 1930s. 5,6 However, commotio cordis only achieved widespread visibility in the physician and lay communities over the last 10 years, 1 through a series of reports comprehensively describing its clinical profile and underlying mechanisms with a contemporary experimental model. 1-4,7-10.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-606
Number of pages2
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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